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Hoof Health - It Starts with Nutrition

Laminitis - The Insulin Factor

Laminitis is a word that ALL horse owners are terrified to hear. A diagnosis to this condition can range from medical and farrier intervention for therapeutic relief, to euthanasia in severe cases. A case of laminitis without proper management can lead to chronic laminitis and a long road of paid ahead for your horse. 

"Around 90% of all laminitis cases - including all pasture associated laminitis - are now thought to have an endocrine cause - that is, they are due to insulin dysregulation (ID)." 1

In this instance, laminitis is considered Endocrinopathic laminitis, otherwise known as insulin-associated laminitis. Research has shown that insulin dysregulated horses are most susceptible to this form of laminitis. However, this form of laminitis is not limited to horses with metabolic disorders, and the risk is not one to ignore in your horse. 

Studies show, if horses cannot properly clear blood glucose and down-regulate the insulinemic response, significant insulin exposure can result in tissue edema, limited blood flow and ultimately, elongation of the secondary laminae. 2 This causes great pain and discomfort for your horse, and it hard to recover from if ignored for too long. 

The Stress Connection

Under stress, your horse’s adrenal gland releases cortisol – a stress hormone. Cortisol re-directs nutrients to be used as part of the fight-or-flight response. This response counterbalances the action of insulin. In short term situations (e.g. exercise), this can be beneficial. However, when exposed to chronic, repeated or layered stressors, elevated cortisol levels can have a detrimental impact on your horse. The resulting redirection of energy can inhibit the immune system and reduce physical performance, and worst of all, lead to insulin resistance. 

Proper management of stress in conjunction with functional nutrition may result in lower cortisol levels thus limiting the interference with proper insulin function. KemTRACE® Chromium has been shown to mitigate the release of cortisol and increase insulin sensitivity.3

KemTRACE Chromium can help

KemTRACE® Chromium – the first product of its kind on the market – is a highly bioavailable, organic source of chromium that helps improve glucose utilization and reduce the negative impacts of stress leading to increased cellular energy and function. This results in improved upkeep, health, immunity, growth and performance of your horse.  

Chromium from chromium propionate attaches to insulin receptors, therefore increasing insulin sensitivity. 5

Hoof health starts with good nutrition. Protect your horse from the chronic pain and discomfort that comes from laminitis by fighting from within. 

Learn more about KemTRACE Chromium

More Resources

The Horse: It's All Connected
The Interconnectivity of Laminitis, Ins...
KemTRACE Chromium for Equine - Glycogen

Chromium - Every Horse, Every Cell, Everyday

Insulin plays a key role in optimal cell function, "unlocking the door" to the cell so that blood glucose can enter and be used for energy. Chromium improves insulin function by increasing insulin receptor activation eight-fold, leading to efficient clearance and use of glucose from the bloodstream.

Focus on Forage for Successful Recovery from Laminitis

Laminitis, a life-threatening condition characterized by severe pain and lameness, isn't a disease itself but a symptom of other diseases. In fact, many diseases can lead to laminitis, and the veterinarian must first determine its underlying cause.

1Laminitis, EMS and PPID - The Laminitis Site2Metabolic profile distinguishes laminitis-susceptible and -resistant ponies before and after feeding a high sugar diet | BMC Veterinary Research | Full Text (, K. (n.d.). Stress Management for Equine Athletes. Retrieved December 12, 2019, from, J. D., S. G. Jackson, and S. E. Duren. (2018, March). The effect of chromium supplementation on metabolic response to exercise in thoroughbred horses.